Tell Us Your Vegan Success Story
We have decided to inaugurate a new feature in our web magazine called Vegan Success Stories. Whether it's a few sentences or an essay, we'll share your tale with our readers. Just label your email Vegan Success Story and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To get the ball rolling, we'll print a few examples from our mailbag as a preview of our Vegan Success Stories page.
The Book That Changed My Life
Several months passed and I had decided that I was not willing to live like this. As of April, 2009, I had a detailed plan (how, when, where) as well as a date set for the following June, for my own suicide. I felt lost, confused, hopeless, with no direction or purpose. I had been thinking that if this is life for me, feeling this thick, blackened mood of hopelessness, then I wanted nothing to do with life.
The next few months were only a hazy blur for me. I vaguely remember doing what I had to do in taking one moment at a time, while being in close contact with my medical professionals. I sought out a book, the title and gist of which had sounded interesting to me for quite some time.
The book was Diet For A New America by John Robbins. I loved it. I absorbed every word, like a sun-starved plant. I felt alive again (at least when reading) simply learning of the benefit of a plant-based diet for our health and the planet. It definitely "spoke" to me. After I finished the book, I tried going completely plant-based myself that August. I noticed changes nearly over night. Over the next few months, my mood lifted tremendously. My excess 45 pounds was shedding dramatically. I felt inspired and alive once again. It was great!
Veganism Saved My Life ... Literally!
My A1C blood sugar reading was 5.2, a drop of 4.3 points! Perhaps, I should explain that according to the A1C "chart," a non-diabetic should be in a range of 5-6 points; a pre-diabetic from 6-7; and a diabetic should not be higher than 7.5. I had reversed my diabetes through exercise and, more importantly, by adhering to the low-fat, vegan nutritional plan promoted by Dr. Barnard and others.
Incidentally, my LDL and triglycerides were each at 97, and I was told that anything 100 and below was good. My overall cholesterol was 154, which I was told was also good. On top of all that, ever since beginning this program, my blood pressure was, on average, 110/70; I am told 120/80 is the top of the safe range. Finally, my weight was down to 163 pounds!
My Nine-Year-Old Son Wants To Be a Vegetarian
My son, however, thinks that we live in an abundant world and that maybe it is not necessary in our modern world to contribute to the commercial slaughtering of animals. He was angry and disgusted when he thought about his own eating habits and favorite foods.
We talked to him about the hamburgers and pizzas he likes so much. He vowed to change his ways and even tore up his school lunch menu for the week. He said he did not want to eat animals anymore. My husband and I were stunned because he felt so passionate about it. We talked to him about the vegetables he resists so much at the dinner table, and he said that he would have to learn to eat differently.
I just want to say thanks for your website. It gives me encouragement knowing that there are groups of people who have made vegetarian eating a lifestyle choice and are not afraid to share it with others. I told my son there are hundreds of thousand of people who feel the same way he does and are committed to eating and living differently. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy challenges.
My husband and I have decided to learn about vegetarian cooking and make an effort every day to offer our little guy a tasty alternative to animal protein.
My Conversion to a Vegetarian Lifestyle
I read Dean Ornish, Andrew Weil, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Messina, Erik Marcus, and Neal Barnard, but the one book that clinched my decision to convert was John Robbins' Diet for a New America. Not only was my decision to become a vegetarian a health matter, I could not in good conscience consume animal products knowing the abuses that were taking place in the factory farms he describes in his book.
It took a while to educate myself on what to eat, how to prepare it, how much protein I really needed, and where to buy my food. I chose to buy organic whenever I could and was pleasantly surprised to find I was actually spending less on food than I had when I was buying fast, convenience foods.
Slowly, I started dropping weight. Then amazing things started happening with what I would consider very little effort. My energy levels increased, so I actually sought out ways to be more physically active. My body craved movement. My blood pressure dropped and my aches and pains disappeared. I felt better physically and had more confidence. My thoughts were clearer. I attribute this all to my decision to stop eating animal products. I truly believe that when we make the right decisions based on our values and love, everything goes better in life.
You've Helped Me Far More Than You Know
I am a 22-year-old male who lives in Middletown, OH. For a little over 21 years, I have been a dedicated meat consumer. I enjoyed chicken, turkey and bacon (especially bacon).
About 4 weeks ago, I made the decision to become vegetarian, on my path to becoming Vegan.
I am considered slightly obese, weighing in at 255 lbs, and 5'10." I was dissatisfied with myself and my weight, although that was only my minor concern. My major concerns were my heart and vital organs. I had been given medication for high blood pressure, more preventative than causative, since my blood pressure was only slightly above normal. However, for safety I was put on the medication.